We are an international literary society devoted to the 20th century English novelist Barbara Pym, shrewd observer of a certain kind of middle-class Englishwoman, no longer young and not quite beautiful, whom society finds it easy to overlook. She is just as shrewd an observer of the people that these women, vigilant and perceptive, themselves observe.

The spinster heroine of Excellent Women, Pym’s most famous novel, says, “I suppose an unmarried woman just over 30, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people’s business, and if she is a clergyman’s daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her.”

The Society holds its Annual General Meeting at St. Hilda's College, Oxford University, every summer and also holds a conference in Boston, MA every spring, a spring meeting in London, and other events. Our newsletter, Green Leaves, is published twice yearly.

Win a Pym coat!

Win a 'Barbara Pym' Boden coat and help fund the Barbara Pym room in the new Boundary Building at St Hilda's College


The 2021 Ellen J. Miller Memorial

Short Story Competition

Entries must be original works of approxi­mately 2000 words that prominently feature one or more characters from Barbara Pym’s published nov­els, in any setting or situation the author chooses. The deadline for submissions is 1 December 2020.


2021 North American Conference

March 2021
An Unsuitable Attachment

2021 Annual General Meeting and Conference

3-5 September 2020
St Hilda's College, Oxford
"Barbara Around the World"